One-eyed Saratoga Sight sees path to victory

…wins Labour Day feature in style, as one lucky punter takes home over $2 million in Sunrise-6

Observer staff reporter

Friday, May 24, 2019

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Saratoga Sight, the Gary Subratie-trained one-eyed (blind in left eye) American-bred chestnut horse, outstayed rivals to win the $1 million Reynold “Ren” Gonzalves Memorial Cup Labour Day feature at Caymanas Park yesterday.

Benefiting from a well-judged ride by leading rider, apprentice Christopher Mamdeen, Saratoga Sight obliged as the even money favourite in the field of eight runners, romping home by three comfortable lengths in the Overnight Allowance event, run over the two-turns of 10 furlongs (2,000m).

Stable companion Uncle Vinnie (Kiaman McGregor) was asked to set the early splits as he took the field past the stands for the first time and around the clubhouse turn with Bruce Wayne (Anthony Thomas) and Royal Vibes (Phillip Parchment) chasing.

Mamdeen after a slow start kept Saratoga Sight on the rails throughout, to minimise the horse's eye defect issues before making a brave move when he went down into second position as the field moved along the backstretch.

The far-striding Saratoga Sight maintained his steady gallop until approaching the home bend when he slipped through, still on the inside rails, to pick up the lead at the top of the lane.

Although Bruce Wayne tried to challenge in deep stretch, Saratoga Sight was too strong on the front to get back to and cruised home for his second win on local soil from 17 starts.

Bruce Wayne was brave but could only finish in second place with old-timer Royal Vibes getting third place in a final time of 2:08.4. The splits were 24.2, 50.3, 1:15.4 and 1:42.1.

“It was a good ride from the young apprentice (Mamdeen) who showed a lot of maturity by keeping Saratoga Sight on the inside rails thereby allowing him to use his right eye, which is his only working eye, to get a glimpse of his rivals. In the past, Saratoga Sight has been known to veer to his left when on the outside of horses in order to catch a glimpse of those he is running against, but thankfully that did not happen today.

“A long-overdue win by the foreigner and for that the camp is grateful,” trainer Subratie said in his post-race comments.

Meanwhile, the supporting $800,000 Labour Day Trophy over five furlongs (1,000m) straight was won by the fleet-footed Armageddon, a 6-1 betting option.

Trained by Rowan Mathie and ridden by Odeen Edwards, Armageddon, who was always prominent during the race, sprinted away from rivals inside the final furlong (200m) of the event, to win by 2 lengths ahead of Night Light (Phillip Parchment) and Talented Tony K (Reyan Lewis). The 1-9 favourite Custer (Christopher Mamdeen) was a disappointing fourth, as the final time for the race was recorded at 1:00.0. Armageddon was Edwards' first winner for the 2019 season.

“This horse (Armageddon) still has his issues so we have to deal with him very carefully, but he is a good horse and when he comes to run, he does so, plus he has a particular liking for the five-straight course as was seen today (Thursday),” trainer Mathie offered at the end of his trophy-race victory.

Robert Halledeen and Shane Ellis were the pick among the riders as they rode two winners, each on the 10-race programme.

Halledeen won the fourth race aboard Peeping Tom, trained by Leroy Tomlinson, and Kalahari in the fifth race for trainer Anthony Nunes, while Ellis won aboard Code of Honor for trainer Michael Marlowe in the third race and King Tavari in the sixth race for trainer Norman Smith.

It was a tough day for punters as only one favourite ( Saratoga Sight) out of 10 obliged, leading to a carryover in the Pick-9. One lucky punter was able to walk away with $2,156,557 after selecting the six winners in the Sunrise-6.

Racing continues tomorrow with the 79th running of the $3 million Governor's Cup over 10 furlongs. Supreme Soul, winner of the 2000 Guineas, headlines a field of nine runners which also includes Jamaica Oaks winner Princess Annie as well as Earn Your Stripes, Duke and Sentient.

Post time is at 12:10 pm.

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